Kajitani overcomes chaos to win Augusta National Women's Am

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Tsubasa Kajitani, of Japan, holds up the trophy after winning the Augusta National Women's Amateur golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The one image of Augusta National that stuck with Japanese teenager Tsubasa Kajitani was Tiger Woods winning the Masters two years ago. She celebrated a big victory of her own Saturday, minus the green jacket.

And just like the 2019 Masters she remembers so well, the Augusta National Women's Amateur had its share of chaos.

The back nine was filled with more blunders than birdies.

One player lost the lead with a double bogey on the 15th, one ball in the water and a three-putt. Another lost the lead with a triple bogey by hitting two shots in the water on the 13th.

Kajitani was not immune. She lost the lead — and appeared to lose out on the tournament — with a double bogey by taking four shots from the front of the 17th green. But she answered with a superb pitch to save par at the end for an even-par 72, and she beat Emilia Migliaccio with a par in the playoff on the 18th to win.

The 17-year-old was in tears and said only through an interpreter, “I can't describe it.”

It was nothing like the first edition of the Augusta National Women's Amateur, already among the most elite amateur events in women's golf because of where it's played. Jennifer Kupcho won in 2019 with an eagle and three birdies over the final six holes, a charge so familiar at the home of the Masters.

On greens that were far faster — an idea of what to expect at the Masters next week, perhaps? — this was all about backpedaling. Nine players had at least a share of the lead at some point in the final round.